Cayuse Native Solutions has hired its first certified operator of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones.
Dazon Sigo joined the Cayuse team in May after successfully completing a four-week training course and passing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 exam to become a certified drone pilot.
Sigo is the first to be hired by CNS as part of its recently launched drone service, which aims to help tribes and tribal entities address an array of needs with UAV's.
"Cayuse gave me an amazing opportunity to become a certified drone pilot and start working for them right away. Volatus Group has incredible instructors that gave me the confidence and support I needed to be successful," said Sigo, who is an enrolled citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and a 2019 graduate of Nixyaawii Community School.
"We're happy to welcome Dazon to our team. I appreciate his commitment to learn about the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry and support our goal of helping tribes," said Debra Croswell, Cayuse Native Solutions President.
According to Jeremy Edwards, Volatus Group Site Operations Manager, "Dazon came to us with no prior knowledge of UAS operations and with big ideas of how to utilize UAS to better his tribal community, from search and rescue, to improving agriculture, and marketing local tribal business. During his training, Dazon asked all the right questions, each one with the intent to fill a need. Then to absolutely no one's surprise he graduated top of his class. He stayed late each night to study for the Part 107 test and then passed with flying colors. We continue to work with Dazon on ideas and solutions to help him reach his dreams. He honestly feels like family at this point."
His lead instructor, Ammarae Broncheau, said this: "Dazon showed up every day with a great attitude and willingness to learn. Learning something new is not easy and he dedicated his time and energy to this program. It has been a lot of fun to watch Dazon's confidence grow, his future is bright!"
Croswell is hopeful that Cayuse's new drone efforts will help open the door for other tribal members to start a career in the UAS industry. She notes that long-term plans are to partner with company owner, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, to expand workforce development initiatives focused on the UAV industry.
"The Pendleton UAS Test Range operates at the Pendleton Airport, adjacent to the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which offers a prime opportunity for tribal members interested in UAV careers," she said.